Synology DS723+ Introduction and Setup

As some of you know, I’ve been a Synology fanboy since 2014. My journey with Synology began with a single NAS for hosting my virtual machines on ESXi, and over the years, my homelab has expanded to include multiple Synology devices. Their reliability and versatility have consistently impressed me, making them a cornerstone of my tech setup. I’m still running my 2014 purchased DS1515+ and DS415+ (Backup Device) in my environment. Therefore, I was really excited when I got in touch with Nick Kozup from Synology who graciously helped me secure a DS723+ NAS for testing and blogging.

Introduction

The DS713+ is one of the latest 2-Bay units of Synology NAS products and has many new features, including an updated CPU based on AMD Ryzen R1600 (2 Cores), support for 32GB DDR4 ECC SODIMM, 10GB PCIe network add-on adapter, 2 NVMe drive slots for caching and onboard 2x 1GB NICs. You can also expand this unit to 7 drives with the additional DX517 expansion unit. For more technical details please visit the DS723+ hardware specifications.

My unit came with the following:

  • DS723+ NAS
  • 8GB Memory (D4ES02-8G) for a total of 10GB (2GB pre-installed)
  • 2x Synology HAT3300 Plus Series 4TB
  • 10GB add-on network card (E10G22-T1-Mini)

For testing purposes I used some WD Red 3TB drives that I had laying around. One of the biggest benefits of Synology is how well the units are designed. Everything (Drive, Memory, NVMe slos) is easy to access and only for the 10GB NIC you need a screwdriver.

Initial setup

There are 3 ways how you can locate your new Synology NAS on your network.

  • Web Assistant
  • Synology Assistant
  • Look into your DHCP for the IP 🙂

I’m little bit lazy and I know that finds.synology.com works in my local LAN so I used the Web Assistant to locate my unit.

By clicking collect the browser will lead you to the webinterface of the Synology NAS.

After hitting Install the installer will ask you if you want to download the latest available version of DSM from the website or if you would like to manually upload it. This depends if you Synology NAS has direct access to the internet or not. In my case automatic download was the way to go. After that you will be ask multiple times if you really want to proceed as all data on the installed drives will be deleted.

It will take some minutes after the latest version is downloaded and installed.

Welcome to DSM 7.2 screen was showing where you click the Start button to begin the device setup. The first step is to create an admin account. The default “admin” account is disabled in newer DSM versions for security reasons. I also don’t recommend to enable it. Give the device a name, name your admin account and set a strong password.

In the next steps you can choose to automatically install important DSM updates or package updates, connect your NAS with your Synology account if you have one and Opt-In for Device Analytics so Synology can improve the user experience.

Storage Pool and volumes

After the initial configuration is completed the last step is to create a storage pool and a volume. I’m using 2 WD Red 3TB drives and therfore the RAID types are limited to the following:

A good overview across all RAID types available in DSM can be found here. In my case I choose RAID1 because I wanted some protection when one of the drives has a failure. After that you can put a decription for the storage pool and then select all the drives that should be part of the pool.

After clicking next I received the following warning.

This warning means that the used drives are not on the Synology Products Compatibility List. With earlier NAS systems like the DS1515+ or DS918+ these drive were on the list. But I assume as these drives are really old Synology hasn’t tested them against the DS723+ which is understandable.

After the RAID configuration the wizard went on to create the first volume in this storage pool. My preference is that the first volume I create is 10GB. It is exclusive for packages I install through Synologies Package Center. As file system I use BTRFS as it is the recommended file system. You have also more features available compared to ext4.

The storage pool was successfully created and shows a green check mark, even with drives not on the compatibility list.

From my personal perspective there is no right or wrong how to create your volumes. You can either use the whole storage pool as one volume or you split the pool into multiple volumes. I always use the multiple volumes approach and leave some GB unconfigured so I can expand existing volumes if needed.

Next steps

After the basic configuration of the DS723+ we can now start to use the NAS as a Backup system, a personal cloud or a virtualization host. In the next posts I will cover Synology Drive, Active Backup for Business, Active Backup for Microsoft 365 and Synology Virtual Machine Manager.

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